Wide turns. WIDE turns. Drive slowly and carefully. Practice backing up in a huge open area, I assure you it will be an eye-opener. Practice stopping quickly, practice (once you get proficient) in traffic. Practice merging lanes and getting on and off highways. Learn to find your blind spots. Drive your trailer in strong winds and rain while it's empty. I agree with the poster who said take it to Target, take it to the grocery store, take it everywhere.
If hauling just one horse, the horse should go on the driver's side.
I taught myself, at 16, to drive a big ole steel 4 horse bumper pull trailer. It was hair raising! Good luck!!
When I got mine, I hopped in the back while someone drove me to see how smooth it is. I learned quick jjust how regular stopping and turning feels back there, it's really magnified! So go slow around corners and stops and starts... makes a big difference to the horses, and they'll enjoy the experience.
The rest of it is easy. Just dno't forget it's back there. A couple times I took off and almost clipped somebody or went through a drive thru because I forgot the trailer was there. LOL
Backing just takes practice. I always parked where I had to back it in, so I practiced that way. After a while, it's easy. I'm glad I learned how to do it though, because I have gotten into a couple spots where I got in a jam and had to be careful backing out, and I was reeeeally glad I knew how to do it.
Can you really drive on with a regular SUV? Even up a huge mountain?
I'd love to take my new horse on vacation with us...
But I'm getting ahead of myself!
Chaila, IF you have a Brenderup you can haul it with an SUV, they are a European made trailer specifically designed to be hauled with smaller vehicles, even a Volvo wagon, though there are parameters (you don't want to haul it with something that has a really wimpy engine for example, you want to stay within tow capacity of your vehicle... you just read up on what those specs are and what SUVs are approved for a B'up). DO NOT try to haul a regular make trailer with an SUV or small truck, it's dangerous. Someone on here more erudite than me can explain further. B'ups are spendy though, sometimes you can get a good deal on a used one and they hold up forever.... anyone I've talked to who has one LOVES them and would never 'go back' to the other kind, they handle so well!! I can't wait to try mine out.
Got my Baron TC 10 years ago and LOVE it. Only repair in all that time is a couple of lightbulbs.
I couldn't wait the 2 weeks for it to be delivered so I drove from LA to SLO to pick it up. Got a crash course in hitching it up and headed home. There was construction for about 4 hours on Pacific Coast Hwy, one lane with those cement dividers on the left, ocean on the right. White knuckled most of the way but by the time I was home I could drive that thing with my eyes closed!
I've gone across the country 3 times, up and down the East coast at least a dozen times. When it's empty I forget it's back there, it tracks so smooth. Then I'll look in the rearview and think "who's the idiot on my tail? Oh, yeah, it's the trailer, duh."
Pratice backing up. Took my hubby over an hour to park it in our slot at the storage place the first time, arrgggg! Thank goodness we have the farm now.
I put a strip of red tape on the top of the tailgate on the truck, it lines up with a similar small strip of red tape on the trailer just below the front window. I back up the truck 'till the red strips line up and connect.
I've driven it so much I can back it thru a keyhole now ;)
Got stuck once at the end of a dead end, single lane, dirt road, bottom of a steep hill. I had to disconnect, do a 20 point turn with the truck, manually pull the trailer around by the handles (it was empty) and then hook back up. NO way, ever, I could have done that with any other trailer!
I just got done watching the DVD and it shows an Explorer going in circles making a very tight radius with the trailer...
Originally Posted by Adelita
TOO funny..:) I just got done watching the DVD no more than 30 minutes ago.
Originally Posted by 2greyhorses
The more I learn and hear about the Brenderups, the more I'm getting sold on them.
The DVD (which I requested through the Brenderup site) contains some very interesting and assuring information regarding these trailers.
I was very skeptical at first, but the quality and thought in building and designing these trailers is unsurpassed.
Love the idea of the stabilizer bar that keeps the ramp from shifting, to placement of the windows.
Even DH was impressed with the design and quality.
I don't have a Brenderup, but when I purchased my first trailer, I had never driven a trailer. I had been shopping, both online and by going to a few dealers. When I made my decision on brand, I drove to the dealers and checked out the trailers on the lot. They had a model that I thought would work for me, so I bought it. The dealer showed me how to hook it up and off I went. Had to drive about an hour home and I was by myself. The backing it up and parking it took me a little while, but I managed it. I drove it a few more times without horse and then it was time to hit the road and go to all the activities that I wanted to go to. It took me a little while to figure out a good way to load my horse, but with trial and error, now my mare self loads. Have fun!
This thread is loaded with good tips. Thanks, everyone.
I've been coveting a Brenderup for a number of years, but then something happens and it gets pushed down the list a couple of slots. It's starting to hover near the top 5, so if nothing else in my life snafus I hope to be a happy owner of one, too.
And I've never pulled a horse trailer, only a utility trailer a couple times. Yikes!
I hope you get your Brenderup Carrie... I can't believe I finally have one, it's a good feeling!! I love it when people who have them say: "I forget there is even a trailer back there until I look in the rear-view mirror."
As someone who started with horse trailers by first purchasing a diesel pick up and then 3 horse slant load goose neck type trailer, let me tell you that you've done yourself a favor with the Brenderup. I picked up a Royal TC for my wife last year as she simply would not use my CC 4x4 diesel & goose neck trailer - said it was too big.
Now that I've hauled our horses in the Brenderup using a Toyota w/V6 I have to tell you that if I'd started with the Brenderup I don't think I'd have ever gotten the other trailer - it's that easy to use. I think they are absolutely great.
Take your time getting accustomed to it, easy starts & stops for your horses and all will be well.
Welcome to the Brenderup family! I've owned a Baron TC since purchasing new in 04. First trailer I've owned and driven. Even if I buy a larger stock trailer in the future, I will always have a Brenderup. Easy to hitch, easy to tow with my LR Discovery and you can't beat the quality construction.
I've been trying to pull the trigger on a Brenderup purchase for a while now- but I keep shying away from the narrow stall width. It seems perfect in every other way. I can't find one to borrow, so I'm trying to envision how wide 32" stalls are. Do any of you find the Baron too narrow for your big horses? Or is it really fine and I should just buy it?
We pull an ancient Brenderup with a 350 (can you say overkill? the big truck also pulls a gooseneck) and I find I drive it better with the big truck than with an SUV we've borrowed from time to time. With the SUV it's easy to accelerate too fast or brake too quickly because the trailer is light and you really don't feel it behind you. You don't feel it with the big truck, either, but at least the big truck makes me more aware of accelerating and braking.
I have a Baron TC and never found the stalls too narrow. I've trailered with 2 horses, 17.1 Irish draught and 16.2 ISH.
Originally Posted by joiedevie99
My very preggo mare fit in.
I have the divider that only goes 3/4's of the way down and flexes at the bottom. The horses can spread their legs while trailering to balance themselves.
I was in the trailer the other day and even in this 95 degree heat, it was cool inside.
My old 15.2hh TB looked lost in ours.
Originally Posted by baysngreys
Re tow vehicle, you can haul with a van, SUV, the manufacturers thinks certain small cars. We used an E-series van. Dad, the automotive engineer, says the only thing he'd have changed about the trailer was drainage holes in the floor (he drilled a couple) and maybe electronic brakes (he's not 100% sure about that and would have to think.) Handles great, one or two horses in it, and the thing is borderline indestructible.
That said I'm still terrified to learn to haul it. I'll start small with the lawn tractor trailer and work my way up (and by then, I'll be able to buy a vehicle big enough to haul it. Even BUp would agree that a Focus hatchback is just too small.)
Just drive slowly. You'll piss off every impatient a**hole in the world, but your horses are more important than their need to speed to the red light. Just be cautious, realize you can't stop quickly, and have contingency plans for emergencies. Also, sign up for the hauling package for AAA.
As far as learning, if you have a friend who has hauled before, bring them with you and take your trailer to a big empty parking lot. Practice stopping, turning, parking and backing up between lines. I've been hauling since I got my driver's license and it's really not that hard, you just have to get a feel for it.
I would say be very careful when backing up. It's pretty easy to "jack knife" the trailer. I never had a problem backing up my old steel trailer, but the Brenderup seems to want to get stuck sometimes. Just go slowly and be patient.
Another word for the wise...be careful of people sitting on the side of the freeway. We almost died once when some jacka** decided to pull straight in front of us from the shoulder. We were doing 55mph and he decided to merge doing about 20mph. My mom slammed on the brakes, we started to jack knife, and right behind us was a semi truck. Luckily the truck was able to move left to avoid us but it was completely terrifying. Now I really watch for everything on the side of the road.
Another word of caution...don't try to beat the train. I knew a trainer who lost the back half of her five horse trailer to a train because she was impatient and wanted to get over the tracks before the train came.
Originally Posted by sptraining
Great advice!! I didn't even know AAA had a hauling package??
I intend to go slow as a snail just short of being a total traffic hazard myself LOL, another idea was to start my first adventures at 5 am in the morning when traffic will be very minimal (I hope... I won't pick a holiday week LOL).. Thanks a ton for the great advice, to you and everyone so far...
Defintiely search AAA and USRiders!
Originally Posted by 2greyhorses
I have and LOVE a Hawk 2h BP, but it's getting older ('98) and my kids are pretty much out of my hair, so I've been thinking about trading the beloved Tahoe and Hawk for something smaller and more fuel efficient and a B'up. My 3 y.o. is 17.1hh :eek: already so I'm think a Baron L would be our best choice if I ever move away from Hawk (which is hard to imagine)....
One thing my dad did when I was just plain learning to drive which sounds a bit odd but REALLY helped with my sense of where things were relative to me in the vehicle was to put down a stick/strip of tape/other low profile visible long thing on the ground somewhere ahead of me, and then the goal was to put X wheel (left front, right front, rear, whatever) right on top of the object so when you stopped and got out it was more or less centered under the wheel.
Originally Posted by sptraining
It's tricky at first, but like I said, it does develop your awareness of how big the vehicle actually is, where the wheels actually are, how it handles, etc. (I'd probably start doing it with the vehicle and work up to positioning the trailer wheels, though. :) )